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United States v. Eagle Bear

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
507 F.3d 688 (2007)


Facts

The federal government (plaintiff) prosecuted Russell Eagle Bear (defendant) for burglary committed in South Dakota's Indian country, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1153. Section 1153 incorporated the elements of burglary under South Dakota law: unlawful entering or remaining in an occupied structure with intent to commit a crime. The trial evidence established that Eagle Bear and his brother Gerald entered the home of LeRoy Morrison, Jr. and, in retaliation for disparaging remarks that Morrison had made about Gerald, assaulted Morrison and Morrison's brother Ashley. Four members of Morrison's household testified that the Eagle Bear brothers broke into Morrison's house without their permission. Gerald Eagle Bear testified that someone let him and his brother into the house. The jury convicted Russell Eagle Bear, and on appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, he argued that the evidence was insufficient on the element of unlawful entering or remaining, because a police investigator believed that Morrison's door was unlocked and found no evidence of forceful entry.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Colloton, J.)

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